Never underestimate the footwork we do in Pose Barre. Pointing our toes is a key principle we are always reminding our clients about throughout class, and this is why.
Think of your normal day’s activities, from the moment you get up to going to bed… Any time you can think of that you point your feet?
Didn’t think so...and so, like any lesser used body movement, it benefits from strengthening.
A movement unique to dance, pointing the foot requires not just the toes but the entire foot. It also engages the calf and quadriceps, working the whole leg. To point is not just to scrunch the toes over!
How To Point Your Toes
The technique is fairly simple but still needs concentration.
Start with a flexed foot and then push the ball of the foot away and down, as if a rubber ball needs to be pressed down. As the arch of the foot engages and the top of the foot stretches, extend the toes as if pointing towards something.
The entire foot is at work now and you should also feel the calf and quad muscles engaged.
Oh yes! The pointed foot is a workout just in itself.
Why Do We Point Our Toes?
Pointing the toes is an essential technique in ballet and barre classes. Here are some of the reasons why...
Alignment and Posture
Pointing the toes helps in achieving proper alignment and posture in ballet. When the toes are pointed, it encourages you to engage the muscles of the foot, ankle, and lower leg, promoting proper alignment from the tips of the toes up through the rest of the body.
Foot Strength and Control
Pointing the toes requires the activation of specific muscles in the feet and lower legs, which helps develop strength, flexibility, and control. Regularly practicing pointing the toes can improve the articulation and dexterity of the feet, leading to greater precision and finesse in footwork.
Extension and Leg Line
Pointing the toes enhances the extension of the leg. When the foot is fully pointed, it creates a seamless line from the leg through the foot, allowing for greater reach and extension in movements such as kicks, jumps, and extensions.
Technique and Execution
Pointing the toes is a fundamental element of ballet technique. It is often incorporated into various ballet movements, such as jumps, turns, and balances, to create clean lines and refined execution. It is a hallmark of classical ballet and contributes to the overall technical proficiency of a dancer.
And of course... Pointing the toes elongates the line of the leg, creating a visually pleasing and graceful appearance. It adds beauty and elegance to the overall presentation of ballet movements.
In ballet and barre classes, the focus on pointing the toes is aimed at developing the strength, alignment, and aesthetic quality necessary for classical ballet technique. It is an ongoing practice that professional dancers continually refine and perfect throughout their training and careers.
Cramp When Pointing Toes In Barre!?
We need to warm the foot up, just as with the rest of the body. Like any unused or cold muscle, cramp can hit and be a barrier to further movement.
There are several options to combat cramp if it hits during the pointing of the foot: make sure your shoes or socks are not too tight, flex the foot and gently press the toes into the floor at their natural angle, or simply wriggle the toes and circle the ankle gently before going back through the exercise.
Here at Pose we have little additional helpers: Have you seen our booties and barre socks? They keep the feet warm as we start class and really help prevent cramping as we go through our warmups.
Since wearing them I have found I get zero cramping and my feet no longer object to pointing quickly! They have been amazing.
Interested in purchasing some booties or barre socks of your own? Click on the link below. In the meantime, happy pointing!